If you worked in any of these countries, you could be due a Tax Refund

5 frightening tax mistakes that are waaayyy too common (and how to avoid them!)

Hey guess what?

Overpaying on your tax bill is a really bad idea.

And yet almost everybody does it.

Been to the doctor or dentist recently? You could be due a tax refund.

Studying in college? You could be due a tax refund.

Has your job been made redundant, or have you had a break in employment?

Yep, you guessed it. You could be due a tax refund!

In truth, there's loads of reasons why you could be due something back!

And yet, thousands of Irish people miss out on claiming what they're owed every single year.

Why this is the case is hard to fathom.

Especially when you consider that the average tax refund is €1076.17.

Can you imagine letting that amount of money slip away? Scary!

So with this in mind, here's five frightening tax mistakes that are waaayyy too common (and how to avoid them!)

The average Irish tax refund is €1076.17

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1) Medical expenses

Six in every 10 Irish people do not claim tax back on their medical expenses.

That is crazy!

Think about it...

If you've paid to see the doctor, for prescriptions, for specialist dental work or many other medical costs, you're entitled to claim back 20% of these costs.

And you can go back four years to claim this tax back.

So if your doctor charges €50 per appointment and you visit them twice per year, you'd be entitled to a refund of €80. Not bad!

Medical expenses that qualify

  • Doctor and consultant's fees
  • Treatments/items prescribed by a doctor or consultant (more below)
  • Specialised dental treatment
  • Treatment in a nursing home
  • Laser-eye surgery
  • Ambulance transport
  • Routine maternity care
  • And more

 

The following if prescribed by a doctor:

  • Medicines/drug treatments
  • Cost of gluten-free food for coeliacs
  • Wheelchair or wheelchair lift
  • Hearing Aids
  • Physiotherapy/podiatry
  • Diagnostic procedures
  • And more

 

2) Flat rate expenses

It's amazing how many workers are unaware that they're entitled to claim flat rate expenses.

These allowances are available to people who work in certain trades and professions and the amount of relief you can claim depends on your job.

For example, shop assistants are due €121 per year, teachers are entitled to €518 and nurses can claim up to €733.

There's relief available too for carpenters, airline cabin crews, bar staff, nurses, teachers and many more professions.

The important thing to keep in mind is that you will not automatically receive your expense. You have to claim it for yourself.

And, like medical expenses you can go back four years for your refund.

The average Irish tax refund is €1076.17

GET YOURS NOW

3) Home carer

Do you work in the home taking care of a child or loved one?

You could be missing out on a tax credit worth €1,500.

You'll be entitled to claim the home carer credit if you are married or in a civil partnership and jointly assessed for tax purposes. What's more, the home carer's (i.e. the person who cares for the dependent in the home) own income must be under €7,200. If the income is between €7,200 and €9,400, then a reduced tax credit will apply.

In this context a dependent is:

  • A child who qualifies for child benefit
  • Someone who is aged 65 or over
  • A person who has a physical or mental disability and who requires care
  • A relative by marriage or someone for whom you're legal guardian

 

4) College fees

Many students are entitled to a tax refund on their tuition fees. And yet, thousands of euro in tuition fee refunds goes unclaimed every year. A big reason for this could be that a lot of students are unaware of their entitlements.

So let's break it down.

Tuition relief works by offering tax back at the standard rate of 20% on fees paid for undergraduate, postgraduate, IT and foreign language courses

You can claim tax relief as long as you have actually paid the fees yourself, either on your own behalf or for someone else.

And there is no limit on the number of individuals for whom you can claim.

The maximum amount of fees (including the student contribution) that can qualify for tax relief is €7,000 per person per course

Each claim is subject to a disregard amount each tax year. This amount is taken away from your qualifying fees and you can't get relief on that portion.

The disregard amount for full-time students is the first €3,000 spent on tuition fees. And, for part-time students, the disregard amount is the first €1,500.

The average Irish tax refund is €1076.17

GET YOURS NOW

Perhaps the most common type of claim for this relief relates to a situation where one individual – for example a parent – is pays for multiple students' fees simultaneously.

This is because the disregard amount only needs to be subtracted once.

For example, consider the following scenario.

David pays college tuition fees for his two children, Sean and Sharon. Sean is starting a full-time course. The tuition fees amount to €5,500 plus a student contribution of €3,000. Sharon is also starting third level education. She has enrolled in a part-time course, where tuition fees amount to €2,500 plus the student contribution of €1,500.

The qualifying tuition fees are €7,000 (full-time course fees of €8,500 are restricted to €7,000) and €4,000, for a total of €11,000.

When David subtracts the disregard amount of €3,000 from €11,000, his total is €8,000. David is entitled to tax relief of 20% on this amount, which amounts to €1,600.

It's true that not all students will qualify for this relief. But when you consider how much these refunds can amount to, it's definitely worth investigating whether you're entitled to some tax back.

5) Nursing homes

Another underutilised category of tax refund relates to nursing homes. In fact, tens of thousands of Irish taxpayers lose out on claiming this refund each year.

If you pay for nursing home fees (either for yourself or for someone else) you will be entitled to a quite a significant tax refund.

Fees can range anywhere from €50,000 to €80,000 per year. So for example, if you pay €50,000 in nursing home fees, you would be entitled to a refund of €10,000 or €20,000 depending on your marginal rate of tax (20% or 40%).

Final tip – don't throw away your receipts!

If you're claiming tax back it's very important that you keep all relevant receipts and documentation relating to these costs in a safe place.

Why? Because Revenue may pick you out for an audit. If this happens you'll have to demonstrate why you're claiming these costs.

For this reason, it's recommended that you hold out to your receipts for six years.

Luckily, if you have not kept receipts for your medical expenses there's a fairly good chance that your doctor or pharmacist will have a record of these. Ask them!

And here's 5 reasons you should apply for your tax refund with Taxback.com

  1. We make getting your tax back super easy!
  2. Free, no obligation tax refund estimation
  3. We'll maximise what you're legally due
  4. Our average PAYE refund is €1076.17
  5. If you've got any tax questions, you can contact our Live Chat team 24/7

The average Irish tax refund is €1076.17

GET YOURS NOW

About The Author

Mark Corcoran - Digital Content Executive @ Taxback.com

Mark is the Digital Content Executive at Taxback.com. Since graduating from Griffith College Dublin with a degree in Journalism and Visual Media, his work has been published both in print and online.

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